Technology

Singapore pay-TV regulations won’t work: Casbaa

MUMBAI: In response to the latest proposals by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore, the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) has reiterated that the new regulations remain contrary to the interests of Singapore’s pay-TV subscribers and the industry at large. 
 
According to Casbaa, incentives for content innovation will be suppressed, with particular damage to the business of producing or acquiring marquee pay-TV programming, which by its nature is expensive to produce or acquire.


The regional industry body said the new rules for the mandatory supply of content to all Singaporean pay-TV operators will “necessitate sustained regulatory micro-management of the pay-TV market exacerbated by interference with intellectual property rights.” 
 
Constant regulatory fine tuning can be expected with significantly enlarged state interventions, said Casbaa, which urged the Government of Singapore to revoke changes in the Media Conduct Code that impose the “Cross-carriage system”.
Casbaa, which represents the pay-TV industry across 16 Asian markets, said that the proposed regulations are damaging to Singapore’s hard-won role as a regional content hub. “If implemented as they stand, the new rules would undercut the attractiveness of Singapore as a destination for media investment and impair employment and economic growth.”


Drawing on advice from global trade and intellectual property rights specialists Greenberg Traurig, which represents the International Intellectual Property Association in Washington, Casbaa concluded that the new rules remain inconsistent with Singapore’s international treaty obligations.


Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies says, “Content owners, who have used Singapore as a regional base for more than 15 years, consider the new rules very harmful to the country’s reputation for protecting intellectual property rights holders”.


Casbaa noted that many Asian markets are seeing substantial increases in domestic content production for pay-TV.


While damaging to the interests of Singapore, if the new rules were replicated in these other markets in Asia, they would do infinitely more damage to their young industries.


“The useful stimulus to domestic production coming from growing pay-TV could be irreparably undermined. These are regulations that will not work for Singapore and would be even more destructive in other jurisdictions,” adds Twiston Davies.

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